Saturday, October 12, 2013

Visiting the Archivo Diocesano

Walking in Old San Juan

This past summer, I knew that there was one new place in San Juan that I wanted to visit and that was the Archivo Diocesano. I had read a bunch about the place and wanted to visit to see if I could find anything related to my family. The Archivo Diocesano has many records on different towns (more of the San Juan area) related to marriage dispenses and solicitations of proving one's bachelor/bachelorette-hood. I knew that when my 3rd great grandparents married they had to say they were blood related and so I wanted to see if I could find a "dispensa" for them in the town of Toa Alta.

2º grado consanguinidad- Valentin González y Juliana Mojica
I decided to call ahead to make sure that the place was open and that the files were held there and not at another location. The lady, Elyse was extremely kind and helpful throughout the whole process- even at times where I wasn't too sure on where to look or what to look for. I got on the bus and headed into Old San Juan crossing my fingers that hopefully I'd find something buried in the old documents. When I got there the box I was looking for was already set aside for me (I had told her over the phone that I was looking for dispensas in Toa Alta in the 1860s). She asked for an ID in order to process my visit and then I started searching. 

Toa Alta-Toa Baja Dispenas 1841-1905

This one box had (pictured above) had many years and even two towns in it so I was afraid that I wouldn't find it that day OR that it wasn't in this box at all. So I began searching the packets within the box starting of course within the 1860s. Nothing was coming up and I was getting extremely nervous! Maybe the document was lost? Maybe it got ripped apart? I was becoming more and more frightened that I could not find anything on their marriage and that I wouldn't find anything new. Towards the end, something inside me told me to check the other Toa Alta packets in the box, it couldn't hurt right? So buried somewhere in the 1840 Toa Alta dispensas I found Valentin González's name!! My heart skipped a bit and I glanced further down the words "Juliana Mojica" caught my eyes! YES! I found it! Immediately I grabbed my little book and got ready to jot down any notes. 

I don't want to post up the pictures I took since they are a part of the Archivo Diocesano but I'll mention what I found: 
  • There was a transcription of Valentin's baptism which mentioned he was born in Corozal on the 13th of November 1828 and listed in the "pardo/moreno" book. I had gone crazy searching in Toa Alta for him and now I know why I didn't find him!
  • His parents were listed as Juan González and Isidora Quiñones. For some reason in later documents she appears as "María Vásquez". 
  • A brother named José María González came to testify that all the information provided was correct. 
  • Mentioned that Juan González (Valentin's father) and Juliana González (Feliciana's mother) were brothers and sisters. 

With all of this information I thought "Okay, how can I use all of this to find something new?". No names of the parents to Juan and Juliana were mentioned so technically nothing new came of this document (besides the actual birthdate of Valentin), but a brother of Valentin was mentioned which I never had before and it sounded familiar so where had I seen it before? 

In a desperate attempt to document and find the González family in Toa Alta I began to transcribe baptisms from a certain era to see if anything would pop up. So when I turned to my excel sheet I realized that I had a "José María González" with his wife baptizing children in the 1820s I knew that this could be him! And what was more interesting was that in one of the documents the father of José María appeared!! So now I had a the father's name of the González siblings-- Yldefonso González!! **Of course I'm hoping that this José María is the brother to my Valentin González**. 

So hopefully out of all of this I've gained the name of my 5th great grandfather and his wife Agueda González which I was able to find through a baptism record in Toa Alta in 1802 of their daughter Polonia. Now I am trying to locate death records in the available Toa Alta records to see if the information I have matches with everything else. 

Genealogy- proving and disproving family connections over and over again ;)

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